The only South Asian to be honoured on Canada Day, Das’ citation read: “For his internationally recognized work in the field of cognitive psychology, notably in the development of a new theory of intelligence.”
The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Over the last 45 years, more than 6,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.
According to Wikipedia, Das was born in the Indian state of Odisha. He earned his B.A. Honours in psychology and philosophy from Utkal University in Cuttack, and then completed his Masters in experimental psychology at Patna University, India.
“After two years as a lecturer in Psychology at Utkal University, in 1955, he won a Government of India scholarship to study at the Institute of Psychiatry University of London, supervised by Hans Eysenck. He was much impressed by Eysenck’s penchant for empirical research, and chose for his dissertation an investigation into the relationship between hypnosis, eyelid conditioning and reactive inhibition. After earning his Ph.D. in 1957, he returned to Utkal University where he was a lecturer in psychology, and then a reader in psychology, for five years. In 1963, he was awarded a Kennedy Foundation Visiting Professorship at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and after a year there, moved on to UCLA where he spent a year as a visiting associate professor in psychology before returning to Utkal University in 1965. Das moved to the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada in 1968.” (Wikipedia)
The University of Alberta J. P. Das Centre on Developmental and Learning Disabilities has been named after him. He formally retired in 1995, and continues at the centre as the emeritus director and an emeritus professor, still conducting research, as well as writing books and articles.